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BMW R1200GS (2013-current)

£11,650

1170cc, 125bhp, 125mph, Insurance group

For 2013 the legendary GS (it was the catalyst of the whole adventure bike class back in 1980 and has become BMW’s best-selling bike world-wide) has received its biggest update yet. Almost every component has been changed; it’s more powerful thanks to a new partially water-cooled motor and is laden with the latest gadgets and rider assisting technology. The result ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Ducati 1199 Panigale S ABS (2012-current)

£20,250

1198cc, 195bhp, 186mph, Insurance group 17

A mould-breaking motorcycle. Apart from the colour and the noise it makes, the Panigale has nothing in common with Ducati superbikes of old. The chassis is ‘frameless’, there’s a new-generation ‘superquadro’ L-twin engine and it comes with the very latest electronic rider aids, which work. Producing a claimed 195bhp and weighing 188kg, wet, it has a fearsome power-to-weight ratio, but ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Ducati Streetfighter (2009-2012)

£12,095

1099cc, 155bhp, 155mph, Insurance group 17

It might not have the traction control, Ohlins suspension and Marchesini wheels of the more expensive ‘S’, but this base-model Streetfighter, complete with its retuned 1098 superbike engine, is still one hell of a machine and a better value package. Super naked machines like these make more sense on the roads than small, uncomfortable race replicas. The Ducati combines high ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Honda VFR1200F (2010-2011)

£12,325

1237cc, 160bhp, mph, Insurance group

The new VFR is a good bike – but it’s not a great one. And after all the hype and expectation (Honda themselves are pumping it up as “the Ultimate Road Sports Motorcycle” and it’s simply not) that is not good enough.Logically, to justify its almost £12K tag, the new VFR should offer abilities and specification head and shoulders above ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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BMW F800R (2009-current)

£7,595

798cc, 87bhp, 133mph, Insurance group 12

BMW placed the F800R as an entry-level, sporty, naked urban machine to slot in amongst myriad of 600cc middleweight bikes eg Yamaha FZ6, Triumph Street Triple, Honda Hornet and so on – even though its engine is 798cc! And we can cheerfully say it fits in. What the BMW conveys is the feel and ride of large capacity bike with ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Ducati 848 (2007-2013)

£10,995

848cc, 122bhp, 166mph, Insurance group 17

The Ducati 848 isn’t just a small 1098, it’s much more than that. The 848 is a proper fast (top speed is 166mph), fine-handling, gorgeous Ducati superbike in its own right. It’s no longer the poor relation to its big brother, like the 748 and 749 used to be. But costing £9500 you’re going to need to be anything but ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Honda CBR600RR (2007-2008)

£7,200

599cc, 118bhp, 165mph, Insurance group 15

Honda have hit back hard with the track focused CBR600RR. They want their 600 crown back and after our first initial ride it seems they’ve done it. They’ve rectified the old motorcycle’s weak points, namely lack of midrange and weight. The Honda CBR600RR is now the lightest in the class, and has much more midrange and razor sharp handling.   Watch the ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Honda NTV600/650 (1988-1997)

N/A

647cc, 57bhp, 110mph, Insurance group 8

The Honda NTV650 isn’t just about frugal motoring, a quality build and endless reliability. Because somehow Honda segued in a cheeky charm and a handling package that has to be ridden to be believed. Most Honda NTV650s will be a little tired after a decade or more on the streets but at the right price they’re simply superb motorcycles.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Triumph Speed Four (2002-2006)

£5,349

599cc, 97bhp, 136mph, Insurance group 12

That engine still isn’t perfect but it ain’t half bad. A bit snatchy around town but, out in the open, it’s a dream. Alongside that handling and those brakes, you’re in for one hell of a ride on board the Speed Four. Incredibly capable and beautifully built, its distinctive looks are ideal for those who don’t want to go with ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4

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